posted by admin — Jan 16, 2003
At press time, Congress had passed yet another Continuing Resolution (CR), once again postponing action on the annual appropriations, including those for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and virtually the entire federal government, except for the Pentagon. The recently passed CR gives the new Republican-controlled 108th Congress until January 11, 2003, to make changes and decisions about federal-agency appropriations for fiscal year 2003. As a result of this, most federal agencies will continue to operate at last year’s appropriation levels for what will be at least a quarter of the new fiscal year.
With the results of the November 2002 election now in, Senate Democrats will lose their committee chairs when the 108th Congress convenes. The House subcommittee that oversees the budget for NEA and NEH will also get a new chair as Representative Joe Skeen (R-NM) retired. When the new Congress begins to address the fiscal year 2003 budget, deep cuts to domestic programs are expected in an attempt to come closer to the President’s spending-level recommendations. Whether or not the 108th Congress will reduce the funding increases for the NEA and NEH that the House approved last July remains to be seen.